Since World of Warcraft: Classic was released, it’s suffered a horrible slue of issues with overpopulation. Never quite able to get them under control, Blizzard was forced to renege on promises to work to keep the population steady.
Continuing since release, there were moments of victory and many, many moments of defeat. One of the most intense moments of defeat was Blizzard having to fall back to Layering in order to keep the populations bearable.
Layering works, as the name suggests, by splitting characters onto different layers from each other. While this has pros and cons, it’s unarguably effective at limiting the strain on the server by separating characters away.
Unfortunately, this leads to players being, quite obviously, separated from each other, which can make some players feel alienated and many zones feel as if they aren’t as populated. It can also be easy to abuse, especially for farmers and level grinders.
More than anything, however, Classic is meant to emulate the game exactly as it had been upon its Vanilla release in its original 2004 launch. Back then, layering didn’t exist, so the majority of the player base has no interest in it.
Blizzard has announced that all #WoWClassic realms on US and EU have now been brought back to one layer! Character Transfer restrictions have also been removed. https://t.co/QMcqcUs6nE pic.twitter.com/ayB4RYZqQg
— Wowhead (@Wowhead) August 21, 2020
Thankfully, Blizzard has finally gotten the population issues under control. As such, they announced today that all realms on World of Warcraft: Classic, including US and EU, have been brought back down to a single layer.
Additionally, Blizzard has removed some transfer restrictions that were in place that stopped players from transferring to realms that were already overpopulated. With these restrictions removed, players are free to go where they would like.
Of course, some realms are still suffering population issues in terms of queues and skewed economies, but such a thing isn’t out of line with the way that the Vanilla title originally was. These issues are also relatively minor in comparison to the form that caused Blizzard to act.
Many players have stated that the population issue wasn’t fixed so much as that many players have left the game. Some cited the population issue itself as a dominant reason for players to leave, thereby fixing itself in the process.
Whether it was Blizzard’s efforts, a supposedly-declining player population, or some combination of the two, players are just happy to see layering removed and restrictions lifted. With any luck, this will be the last of the struggles Blizzard has with the issues, though we’ll have to wait for future events and releases to test to see if this remains true.